After brief comments on the launching of the Department of World Religions in the University of Dhaka, this paper reviews concisely the contributions of significant sociologists to comparative academic study of religion, in some cases having had foundational impact on how the field or discipline variously called ‘history of religion’ or ‘comparative religion’ or ‘science of religion’ came to define itself in contrast to theology or ‘confessional’ study of religion. The influence of these and other sociologists has also been significant for developing the subfield of sociology of religion. In general sociologists have been rigorous in seeking objectivity in
research, although objectivity may include observing the feelings and intentions of human beings which influence their overt actions. The relations of religion to politics as well as to social norms and morality have attracted much attention from sociologists. In anticipation of more and better sociological research on religion in Bangladesh, four main elements may be considered as factors for study: a) faith and belief system, b) rites and rituals leading to common practice and community, c) ethical norms and morality and finally d) spiritual elements, which cover a wide range of epiphenomena impacting on society.
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